Lawmakers From Washington Approve Of Air Tanker Contract Delay - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Lawmakers From Washington Approve Of Air Tanker Contract Delay

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WASHINGTON - The Pentagon is putting off its decision to award a $35 billion air tanker contract.

It originally went to the European company Airbus.  Boeing disputed the deal.  Congressional investigators told the Defense Department to reopen the bidding. Now Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the project is too complex to make a decision by the end of the year.

Lawmakers from Washington State want to get the process moving, but claim they're pleased with the delay.

"The fact is when you're spending $40 billion plus of American taxpayer dollars, we've got to make the right decision where everyone is treated fairly and the best workers are building these planes," said U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, (D) Washington. 

The Defense Department plans to make a decision after the new president takes office in January.

Senator Murray said the delay also allows Boeing to put together a better bid.

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